Monday, September 21, 2020

BCL closure increase destitution in Selibe Phikwe

The closure of BCL mine in Selibe Phikwe two years ago which led to thousands of jobs being lost, has led to an increase in destitution in the former copper mining town. 

This revelation was made by Selibe Phikwe Mayor, Molosiwa Molosiwa during a full council meeting last week. He said the Department of Social and Community Development has been receiving a lot of cases of destitution.

“The most prominent assistance asked for is school uniform for school going children, transport fare as well as food baskets. However it is unfortunate that in most cases these clients who come to seek registration as destitute persons are mostly able bodied people who are unwilling to engage under Ipelegeng,” he said.

Molosiwa said on the other hand it has surfaced that some individuals who are registered permanent and temporary destitute persons are also engaged in Ipelegeng at the expense of those who are neither getting monthly rations nor employed. He said this act is tantamount to double dipping (benefitting from more than one welfare service at the same time). He said it has also been noted that some beneficiaries of Poverty Eradication programme engaged in Ipelegeng at the expense of those not benefiting from any welfare service.

“This has led to their projects eventually collapsing. The community members with the assistance of the ward development committees are requested to be vigilant and ensure that no individuals benefit from more than one social welfare at the same time. Furthermore it has also been observed that some of the Ward Development Committees despite being functional, they do not operate accordingly and amicably with the council. However this situation is being addressed in accordance with the VDC/WDC regulation,” added the mayor.

Touching on the town council’s budget for financial year 2018/2019 Molosiwa said it currently stands at P137 477 250 to be financed by overall estimated revenue support of P122 667 410.00 and income from their own source of P14 809 840.00. He explained that the revenue support grant represents 90 percent of the total estimated income and council’s own resource represents only 10 percent. He also added that council continues to provide educational facilities and teachers housing for the eleven primaries in the Selibe Phikwe Township.

“Council is undertaking five ESP Phase two projects, with their respective council works, amounting to a total of P19, 158, 252.00 which was approved under the 2017/2018 financial year. These projects are Double Classroom at Botshabelo Primary School, Toilet Block at Botshabelo Primary School, Double classroom and Toilet Blocks at Phikwe Primary School, Double classroom and Toilet Block at Tlhabololo Primary School and Teachers quarters. Of these projects one is complete while others are progressing well at various stages of completion,” he said.

Among other important issues Molosiwa said progress on Special Economic Zone development is notable. He said their agreement during their sitting on 3rd May 2018 to reserve 1000 hectares of land between the township and the airport for SEZ was already bearing fruit. He revealed that they are now working through their Physical Planning Committee yet to formally sub divide and change the use of the plot to mixed land use. He expressed confidence that their partners are working effortlessly on their development proposals to ensure that their town revitalization vision is realized. 

“On 22 April 2018; council and another partner Nicklehead (Pty) Ltd officially appointed a consultant; SOCA Investments (Pty) Ltd as a transactional advisor. The advisor was to provide sustainable investment guidance in the development of plots 915,916 and 923 for bus terminal commercial development. Ladies and gentlemen, please take note the advisor’s reports have been delivered and the next is for council to enter into a contract with Nickle head (Pty) Ltd.

In conclusion he said that new 120 bed Selibe Phikwe government hospital has been approved and construction is due to start this financial year 2018 at a budget of P40 000 000.00 for 2018/2019. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.